Farm Organism

Biodynamic Agriculture: The Holistic View

Demeter farmers have a special relationship with their farm – they regard it as a living, unique organism in which every organ needs the other: Man, plant, animal and soil work together.

Biodynamic farmers strive to develop an intimate understanding of each element of the farm, and the creative potential of the farm as a whole. From this understanding they work to bring the elements of the farm into the right relationship. Biodynamic farmers and gardeners work toward balancing the soil and creating a farm individuality that is a self-sustaining whole, where fertility and feed come from within the farm rather than from outside.

Farm Organism

The creative potential of the farm as a whole

Looking at this holistic background, it is not surprising that social interaction is also very important. Many Demeter farms are therefore much more than “just” farms – they share their gifts of health and vitality with the local community, by integrating people with disabilities or by becoming school farms or cultural venues.

Farm Organism and Farm Individuality

In biodynamic agriculture, each farm or garden is viewed as an integrated whole, as a living organism in its own right. Like a human being, a farm is made up of many different organs and systems. When these are managed and brought together in a dynamic way, they interact positively with one another to support the health and well-being of the whole. This is referred to as the Farm Organism in biodynamics.

And like a human being, each farm is unique, with its own personality and identity. The holistic expression of a farm’s unique potential is referred to as the Farm Individuality.

The farm individuality encompasses soil types and characteristics—such as mineral content, organic matter and the mix of sand, silt, and clay—as well as forests and meadows, wetlands and cultivated ground, flowering trees and shrubs, domestic and wild animals, buildings and equipment and human beings living and working on the land. It also includes the history, character and purpose of the farm as well as more subtle, energetic aspects of the region and landscape. This is often referred to as terroir in wine-making.

Diversity, regionality, seasonality

In 62 countries there are more than 7000 farms that operate according to the biodynamic method and create unique, diverse habitats. The variety of humus-rich fields, with a varied crop rotation and seasonal specific produce – all this makes for the special quality and original taste. The landscapes designed by Demeter farms offer biotopes for small and large creatures, as well as encounters between town and country.

More than circular economy

The farm organism follows some basic principles. This closed-loop system has environmental and economic benefits.

Animals according to hectares

Animals can support fertility, reverse desertification and their manure can feed and enrich the soil. The biodynamic ideal is to integrate just the right number of animals into the farm organism, so that the plants on the farm can nourish the animals and the animals can nourish the plants. As with many other aspects of the farm, this is a process of finding balance.

Waste not want not

Biodynamic farmers value the nutrients produced from the farm. Whether it is animal manure or vegetable waste, composting with the preparations makes the most of the fertility on the farm. For a farmer this is precious food for the soil, which provides vital nutrients for plants and supports all of the food produced on the farm.

Blending into the landscape

Adapting to individual local conditions, maintaining and enhancing biodiversity, valuing traditional and local breeds and seeds and taking all of nature’s stakeholders into account.

Premium quality

Biodynamic farmers produce food nouristhing body, mind and soul.

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